Metro Vancouver Transit Police (MVTP) have arrested a man after he allegedly sexually assaulted four women "at or near" Granville Skytrain Station in downtown Vancouver.
On Friday (May 13) just before 4:30 p.m., a man approached a woman who was sitting on a bench in Pacific Centre Mall near Granville SkyTrain Station. He then allegedly "touched her hip and attempted to pull her toward him," according to a news release.
After making his way inside Granville SkyTrain Station, the suspect then allegedly attempted to grab a different woman's pubic area but she was able to block his attempt with her hand.
The suspect then continued his behaviour with a third woman, "allegedly touching her breast while uttering sexually explicit comments," according to police. The victim used the emergency phone on the SkyTrain platform to call for help.
The fourth victim was walking out of Granville SkyTrain station when the suspect allegedly stepped in front of her, grabbing her wrist and attempting to pull her into a nearby business. She screamed for help as he allegedly "shouted sexually explicit and vulgar comments," say police.
The struggle drew the attention of several bystanders who intervened and helped the woman break free.
MVTP officers rushed to the scene and were assisted by multiple witnesses, including several loss prevention officers from an adjacent Hudson’s Bay department store. As a result, the suspect was quickly located and arrested without incident.
“While these types of offences often don’t leave serious physical injury, they can be especially traumatizing to those who experience them, which is why reducing sexual offences on transit is a Transit Police operational priority," MVTP Const. Amanda Steed says.
"Transit Police would like to thank the bystanders who assisted the women. We would never ask that anyone to put themselves into harm's way, but these individuals’ actions can only be described as heroic."
Transit Police are recommending four counts of sexual assault for a 37-year-old man from Surrey, who is known to police. The suspect was released from jail the following morning with multiple conditions, including, a “No Go” to any SkyTrain property and Pacific Centre Mall, and a court appearance scheduled for July 13, 2022.
Anyone who may have witnessed these events, and who has not yet spoken to officers, is asked to contact Transit Police by phone at 604.515.8300 or by text at 87.77.77